Canadian Federal Program Aims To Get Mentally Ill Off Streets
The federal government is testing a new program in five major cities in Canada, aiming to help homeless people with mental illnesses to reintegrate into society. The $150 million program was created by the Canadian Commission on Mental Health, and will be implemented in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Moncton.
Participants in the program will be selected next month, and will be offered 24-hour support by phychiatrists and medical professionals. The program runs for four years, after which the participants will be compared to people who remained on the streets.
The federal program takes a different approach than other projects that deal with homelessness and mental illness – and some workers in the field are concerned it's too much at once.
At Montreal's Old Brewery Mission, several homeless men have been set up in permanent apartments over the last five years — but only after they've been through addictions treatment programs and received psychological counselling.